10/24/2010

c.1955 Kay Archtop Guitar


Cool archtop! You know I love 'em, yessir.

This is a spruce/maple model, with laminate flamed/curly maple back and sides, and a 3-ply spruce top -- press-arched. Rosewood fretboard is bound as are the top and back edges, and everything on the guitar is original. Rosewood adjustable bridge, too.


Finish is in great shape and overall the instrument is in superior shape for its age. Don't get me wrong about the ply body, though, this guitar has a bright, snappy and fast response, with lots of volume. It's a perfect lead or "chop" guitar... just what you want from an archtop in most cases. The neck is modern-feeling and fast, with a long 25 3/4" scale which gives a light set of strings a good amount of tension.

Playability is "real easy" and you can really get rolling with this instrument. Definitely a lot of fun in the hands and adaptable to blues, jazz, folk, old-time, and -- if you're into Mr. Rawlings -- some of that bluegrassy lead work.



Original bone nut. Fun headstock label.


Functional rosewood bridge.





Neck binding is a nice touch.


Bracing on the top is typical "tone bar" or "parallel" style with two braces running the length of the guitar down the middle.




Original Kluson Deluxe tuners.



Work on the guitar included cleaning, fret dress, and setup. Neck angle was great so it didn't need any reset.



Simple but effective tailpiece.


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